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Eduerfnedahcs

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (1 of 25), Read 187 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Thursday, May 06, 1999 09:11 AM

Betty Friedman, of Newport, R.I., writes: "Michael Kinsley, the editor of Slate, must not yet have heard of Word Fugitives; otherwise, he would have been the one to write this letter. At one point in his latest column he wrote, 'There must be a German word for reverse Schadenfreude: distress at other people's happiness.'

"Can we help him come up with an English word for this?"


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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (2 of 25), Read 189 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Thursday, May 06, 1999 09:56 AM

Clarification Fräulein:

It looked a bit ambiguous: Whether the definition given was for the word Schadenfreude or its reverse. If I'm not mistaken, Schadenfreude is composed of two words meaning "damage" (schaden) and "joy" (freude). Not being German, I could take that either as meaning something like "Kill Joy" or reverse it as often happens in Germanic construction of compound words, to "Joy Damage".

Just a quick technical note; the opposite of damage is repair, so one might imagine Reparierenfreude. I have no idea how to repair joy but joy might in some way repair. The opposite of joy is sorrow, so we might construct something like Schadensorge. Sorrow destroys?

I take it then that we're looking for a word in English that means the opposite (reverse?) of "distress at other people's happiness"; which might almost be calling for an antonym for the word "jealousy". (In Swedish, when someone is jealous or envious, they are avundsjuk -- envy sick.)

It took me a couple of secs. to see where "Eduerfnedahcs" came from.

Schadenfreude in interview with Brian Lamb

Kinsley: Schadenfreude means "joy in other people's suffering."

So I guess we are actually looking for a word that means suffering due to other people's joy.

Freudeleiden?

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (3 of 25), Read 178 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Thursday, May 06, 1999 10:22 AM

Hej Roger,

Clarification yourself: "Schadenfreude" is happiness at others' distress, and the word we're looking for is the other way around.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (4 of 25), Read 177 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Thursday, May 06, 1999 10:30 AM

Thanks. (See reference that I added to my comment.)

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (5 of 25), Read 171 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Lisa Bergtraum (lisab63390@aol.com)
Date: Thursday, May 06, 1999 12:50 PM

"Gluckshmerz" would do well, I think, as a word for this kind of happiness-pain, modeled on words like "weltschmerz" (world-pain) and "mittelschmerz" (middle-of-the-month pain, referring to the discomfort experienced by some women at ovulation).

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (6 of 25), Read 160 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Snider (msnider@mindspring.com)
Date: Thursday, May 06, 1999 04:37 PM

Seems 'jealousy' and 'envy' are both pretty good words for it, though perhaps not specific enough.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (7 of 25), Read 155 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Thursday, May 06, 1999 06:53 PM

Michael,

Seems your on a good track, but perhaps "envy" and "jealousy" are too specific. Let's say I wanted to cause you pain, but my actions instead caused you happiness. I wouldn't be jealous or envious at this result. But I might be distressed by your happiness.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (8 of 25), Read 147 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Thursday, May 06, 1999 10:25 PM

Just as an aside, and I hope this doesn't cause anyone any distress, but I'm happy that this word can have negative connotations. I just wish that "selfishness" fit.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (9 of 25), Read 149 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Friday, May 07, 1999 03:57 AM

Someone whose mood goes down when that of others goes up is known as a "kill-joy" because of the effect they have. If they have no effect, I don't know that there's a common word for it, because nobody notices. There's probably something in the psychology books for that though.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (10 of 25), Read 148 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Friday, May 07, 1999 08:04 AM

Hi Roger

The problem I see with a word like "killjoy", is that it implies action taken to kill the joy of the happy one. The word we need, I think, can include silent distress at the happiness of another. For example, a worrywart might do this.
I was trying to think of something in literature and my mind went to Gomer Pyle, whose sergeant was always wanting to cause him grief, yet was frustrated at his happiness. Also, the character Gene Wilder played in "Stir Crazy", who wanted more time in the solitary sweat box, because he was just starting to get into himself, and for whom the stretch torture rack did wonders for his back. I was thinking that this track might either lead to a word, or a word to coin.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (11 of 25), Read 144 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Friday, May 07, 1999 08:50 AM

In the examples you provide, it seems to me that each person's attitude is rather independent of how others feel. Gomer and the Sergeant clash since Gomer tends to clutch to his old civilian culture, preferring the advice he received from the female elders of his kin, while the Sergeant is always trying to be a Drill Sergeant. Such things happen rather easily with one-dimensional characters. Gomer is a bit more of the odd-man because he doesn't change much in order to adapt to life as a Marine.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (12 of 25), Read 133 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Friday, May 07, 1999 08:50 PM

Roger

The sergeant may have been kind of a weak example. However, as you probably surmised, I was brainstorming, not pinpointing. If my memory serves me, I do think that Gomer's attitude used to frustrate the sergeant.

Closer, but no cigar yet, is "grinch." I found a dictionary that lists your "killjoy" as we as "spoilsport" as synonyms. As I mentioned before, I'm thinking the word should be without that attacking action, more like "cringejoy."

Maybe I'm on the wrong track, but I just cannot believe that The Grinch is the closest literature and film comes to a character who is distressed by someone else's happiness.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (13 of 25), Read 127 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Saturday, May 08, 1999 09:37 AM

These Word Fugitives are often interesting puzzles. I did some analysis last night, helped along by the fact that Swedish is primarily Germanic, and our knowledge of Michael Kinsley. I'll post it in direct response to the opener.

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Topic: All things considered; THE ANSWER (14 of 25), Read 137 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Saturday, May 08, 1999 10:22 AM

Swedish is primarily a Germanic language. It should come as no great surprise then, that there's a very similar word in Swedish. If one knows that quite often in the history of the development of modern Swedish, Sch --> Sk, it's not so hard to accept that Schaden --> Skadan. In it's variations, skada and sometimes skade in the formation of compound words.

I won't bother you with details, but freude --> fröjd, (synonym glad, glädje depending on use).

Skadeglad: spiteful, malicious

Skadeglädje: malicious pleasure, malice

So now we have some actual words to go with Kinsley's description that "Schadenfreude means 'joy in other people's suffering." And we of course wonder why he can't speak English. Hasn't he been living in America for quite some time?

What we've said that we're looking for is a word with the "reverse" meaning. Not an antonym for spiteful or malicious, but a reversal -- a word that means suffering due to other people's joy.

Note however that the relationship between the person with the feeling is consistent. In both cases, they do not emotionally accept the happiness of others. By reversing the words used in the Kinsley description, we don't actually get a complete reversal in that sense. What of the various dimensions we might consider that could in fact be reversed, is the power to do something about it.

(Reversal of fortune, the shoe being on the other foot, and circumstances being reversed.)

Spiteful and malicious both suggest that others are not happy, and would obviously include unhappiness due to the malicious or spiteful acts of others. If not initially causing the unhappiness, spiteful and certainly malicious behavior tends to increase and maintain the unhappiness of others.

Michael Kinsley's subject is of course political. If you're too young to remember him from CNN's Crossfire, or live in a country where the program isn't on; Michael Kinsley argued in favor of the left. (Crossfire has debates with one regular siding on the right and one siding on the left with topical guests.) If the comment comes from Michael Kinsley, it's likely that it deals with simple-minded right-left political dichotomy, regardless of how many long or foreign words he uses.

What Michael Kinsley must have in mind is the difference between the left being in power, with examples like Stalin, Ceausescu, Milosevic, and Hitler, and the left having much less power, such as what it used to be like in the United States. Ultimately, Kinsley's coded message, obscured by the longest words he could find in the dictionary and even some use of a foreign language, is nothing more than the old debate on Capitalism verses Communism.

Schadenfreude decoded: Leftists exercising absolute power.

The reverse: Left wing is not in power, or have their power checked in some way.

(Repressive - underkuvande or repressiv - verses wanting to be.)

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (15 of 25), Read 110 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Steven Rollason (steveroll@cyberdude.com)
Date: Monday, May 10, 1999 08:19 AM

I thought Schadenfreude might apply to both situations.
If you are happy at other people's distress, it follows that you would be distressed at their happiness. However, a good word might be obtained by rearranging the word to produce Freudenschade. This may not be linguistically accurate but its relation to the word Schadenfreude would make its meaning more obvious.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (16 of 25), Read 106 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Monday, May 10, 1999 08:26 AM

Schadenfreude! Freudenschade! What's the difference?

(I was wondering where the 'n' went.)


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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (17 of 25), Read 106 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Monday, May 10, 1999 08:30 AM

But aren't we looking for an English word?

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (18 of 25), Read 115 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Monday, May 10, 1999 08:39 AM

Maybe it gets partial credit. In the original question, Betty Friedman of Newport R.I. points out that "in his latest column", Michael Kinsley wrote, "There must be a German word for reverse Schadenfreude".

If it had a defined meaning, maybe freudenshade translated would be the answer we're looking for. Taking that approach using similar words in Swedish, the closest I could come to it was glädjedödare which means killjoy or wet blanket.

But I think my first choice is Schadenfreude means repressive, and the "reverse" is repressive-wannabe or repressor-hopeful or something like that.

But -- it does seem to me that 'killjoy' and "wet blanket" aren't all that bad, despite their immediate rejection by others in the discussion. If someone is repressive (schadenfreude), they're able to maintain that state of unhappiness in others that makes them happy. In order to be a killjoy or a "wet blanket", the joy or potential for joy has to be there. The effect described by either term can be the result of the unhappiness someone has due to the happiness of others. Note that a 'killjoy' doesn't always actually kill the joy.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (19 of 25), Read 94 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Monday, May 10, 1999 10:38 PM

Roger,

I read your posting from 8:39 this morning shortly after you posted it, spent the day at work until 9:30 this evening, couldn't wait the whole day to get some definitions for the word "killjoy", all the while in disbelief that a killjoy doesn't necessarily have to kill joy. Now I've looked it up and of course a killjoy must kill joy.

Furthermore, it occurred to me that a killjoy doesn't have to be distressed at another's happiness to be one. This person could be a parent who wants a child to do homework, or a mean person who doesn't care if their victims are happy or not

This is what I did. I went to the site called "OneLook Dictionaries" at
http://www.onelook.com/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/bware/dofind.cgi and found the killjoy entry from WordNet (very helpful), American Heritage, and WWWebster Dictionary. They follow:
_____________________________________________
WordNet 1.6 Vocabulary Helper: killjoy
----------------------------------------
Overview of noun killjoy
The noun killjoy has 1 sense (no senses from tagged texts)
1. spoilsport, killjoy, wet blanket, party pooper -- ((informal) someone who spoils the pleasure of others)
----------------------------------------
Hyponyms of noun killjoy
1 sense of killjoy
Sense 1
spoilsport, killjoy, wet blanket, party pooper -- ((informal) someone who spoils the pleasure of others)
worrier, fuss-budget, fusspot, worrywart -- (thinks about unfortunate things that might happen)
-----------------------------------------
Synonyms/Hypernyms (Ordered by Frequency) of noun killjoy
1 sense of killjoy
Sense 1
spoilsport, killjoy, wet blanket, party pooper -- ((informal) someone who spoils the pleasure of others)
unwelcome person, persona non grata -- (a person who for some reason is not wanted or welcome)
-----------------------------------------
Coordinate Terms of noun killjoy
1 sense of killjoy
Sense 1
spoilsport, killjoy, wet blanket, party pooper -- ((informal) someone who spoils the pleasure of others)
unwelcome person, persona non grata -- (a person who for some reason is not wanted or welcome)
unpleasant person, disagreeable person -- (a person who is not pleasant or agreeable)
ingrate, thankless wretch, ungrateful person -- (a person who shows no gratitude)
intruder, interloper, trespasser -- (someone who intrudes on the privacy or property of another without permission)
meddler -- (an officious annoying person who interferes with others)
disreputable person -- (someone lacking public esteem)
sourpuss, picklepuss, gloomy Gus -- ((informal) someone with a habitually sullen or gloomy expression)
spoilsport, killjoy, wet blanket, party pooper -- ((informal) someone who spoils the pleasure of others)
troublemaker, trouble maker, mischief-maker, bad hat -- (someone who deliberately stirs up trouble)
undesirable -- (one whose presence is undesirable: ``rounding up vagrants and drunks and other undesirables'' )
villain, scoundrel -- (a wicked or evil person)
End of WordNet output for killjoy.
Return status: query word found.
It is now Tue May 11 10:51:02 1999 in Kyoto, Japan.
________________________________
American Heritage Dictionary
[Full Entry]
One who spoils the enthusiasm or fun of others....
________________________________
WWWebster Dictionary

Main Entry: kill·joy
Pronunciation: 'kil-"joi
Function: noun
Date: 1776
: one who spoils the pleasure of others

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (20 of 25), Read 96 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Monday, May 10, 1999 11:45 PM

Back on Friday, I said that I couldn't believe that The Grinch was the closest that literature could come to someone who was distressed by someone else's happiness. Well, I just reread "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and now I cannot believe that literature could come any closer. Note the following excerpt:

"...All the Who girls and boys Would wake bright and early. They'd rush for their toys! And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! That's one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! Then the Whos, young and old, would sit down to a feast. And they'd feast! And they'd feast! And they'd FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!

"They would feast on Who-pudding, and rare Who-roast beast Which was something the Grinch couldn't stand in the least!

"And THEN They'd do something He liked least of all! Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, Would stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing. They'd stand hand-in-hand. And the Whos would start singing!

"They'd sing! And they'd sing! And they'd SING! SING! SING! SING! And the more the Grinch thought of this Who-Christmas-Sing, The more the Grinch thought, "I must stop this whole thing!" "Why, for fifty-three years I've put up with it now!" "I MUST stop this Christmas from coming!

...But HOW?"

Earlier, I found that "killjoy" and "spoilsport" are listed as synonyms for "grinch" and I was thrown off by this. It occurs to me now that the whole point was that The Grinch could not steal Christmas from the Who's. Note the following excerpt:

"He stared down at Who-ville! The Grinch popped his eyes! Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!

"Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, Was singing! Without any presents at all!

"He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!"

I would now like to assert that there is an English word for someone who is distressed at the happiness of other people, because, used properly, "grinch" means precisely that. But another step is needed. Our task is to find an English word for distress at other people's happiness.

I propose "grinchy", as in, "The losing democrat couldn't help but to feel a little grinchy as he watched the republicans celebrate."

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (21 of 25), Read 93 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 1999 03:38 AM

A grinch!

Note that the grinch was a grinch before he stole Christmas. You don't have to be successful or even start anything to be a grinch -- just have the feeling. A grinch is a grinch.

I can go along with that. But I can also go along with grinch being a synonym for killjoy and spoilsport. Grinch might be the best choice though. Looks pretty good to me.

BTW: Is Dr. Seuss hedonistic?

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (22 of 25), Read 89 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 1999 10:58 AM

Hi Roger,

Yes, I agree with you, and I appreciate your acknowledgement here. You do a lot to make this forum so fun and thought-provoking.

As might be obvious, I came up with "grinch" by being contrary to you. When you said "killjoy", I said , "maybe not". When you said "psychology books", I said, "maybe not". Finally, when I was 99% sure of "grinch", I was sure to make up a sort-of left/right political example and I want to make sure that that acknowledgement doesn't go unnoticed by you.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (23 of 25), Read 85 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 1999 11:17 AM

Everyone needs acknowledgment. It comes right after food and sex as an important need -- for guys anyway. Well, maybe then after sports ... well, I'm not sure. It's just really important, that's all.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (24 of 25), Read 85 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 1999 11:21 AM

following up here, I did a OneLook search for grinch and was led to, in Stammtisch Beau Fleuve Acronyms,

GRINSCH, grinsch
GRaded-INdex Separate-Confinement Heterostructure. Also (later): ``GRaded-Index SemiConductor Heterostructure.'' Good way to make heterojunctions with nonabrupt (finite slope) conduction-band discontinuities. (``Index'' refers to mole fraction: in AlxGa1-xAs, the ``index'' is x.)

I take no joy in learning this.

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Topic: 8) Eduerfnedahcs (25 of 25), Read 83 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 1999 12:01 PM

You mean an indexed file cabinet?


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